Two Taiwan-based computer manufacturers – who between them supply more than 60 per cent of the world's notebooks – are looking to make mobile phones, reports claim.

Jessica Huang, accounting director of Compal Electronics, told TechNewsWorld the company hoped to replicate in the mobile-phone industry its success in the notebook market by relying on its experience as a manufacturer and worldwide distributor: "Compal hopes that it will be able to deliver 3G handsets either at the end of this year or at the beginning of 2005."

In contrast, Quanta has a more cautious approach. Third- generation phones, said spokesman, Jason Lin, have a very uncertain future for us.

But analysts are discouraging about the firms prospects in the mobile markets. They suggest that the PC and mobile phone markets are too different.

The companies are not complete newcomers in the sector, they have been manufacturing mobiles for international vendors since the late 1990s.

Apple's QuickTime marketing chief Frank Casanova is currently in Taiwan pushing the company's multimedia software at Taiwan's mobile phone operators.

Virgin is expected to sell combined phone/music players from Nokia and Samsung.